12 Agnes MacPhail Quotable Quotes
Agnes Campbell Macphail (March 24, 1890 – February 13, 1954) was the first woman to be elected to the Canadian House of Commons, and one of the first two women elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
Active throughout her life in progressive Canadian politics, Macphail worked for two separate parties and promoted her ideas through column-writing, activist organizing, and legislation.
These 12 quotes give an inkling of her character and philosophy:
“Do not rely completely on any other human being. We meet all life's greatest tests alone.”
“I believe the preservation of the home in the future lies almost entirely in the hands of men.”
“Never apologize. Never explain. Just get the thing done, and let them howl.”
“I want for myself what I want for other women, absolute equality.”
“I do not want to be the angel of any home: I want for myself what I want for other women, absolute equality. After that is secured, then men and women can take turns being angels.”
“I owed it to my father that I was elected to Parliament in the first place, but I owed it to my mother that I stuck it out once I got there.”
“If the preservation of the home means the enslavement of women, economically or morally, then we had better break it.”
“If they are willing to give women economic freedom in that home, if they are willing to live by the standard they wish women to live by, then homes will be preserves.”
“It is a fact that all women contribute more to marriage than men; for the most part they have to change their place of living, their method of work, a great many women today changing their occupation entirely on marriage; and they must even change their name.”
“Most of the women who have offered themselves for public office over the years have done so, I believe, more because of the 'dirt' than in spite of it.”
“Whatever is dirty, it is women's job to clean up, or drive some man to clean up, and that goes for everything from cellar to senate.”
“When I first came to the House of Commons and walked out into the lobby, men sprang to their feet. I asked them to sit down since I'd come to walk around. I didn't want them doing me favours.”